WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – The Monmouth University men’s basketball team fell to visiting Penn 79-73 in non-conference action in the MAC on Tuesday night. The Hawks, who put three players in double-figures, fall to 1-1 on the year, while the Quakers improve to 1-1.
Monmouth was paced by junior Andrew Nicholas’ (Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York) team-high 19 points and seven rebounds, while classmate Deon Jones (Wilmington, Del./Samford School/Towson) added 17 points and eight rebounds and freshman point guard Justin Robinson (Lake Katrine, N.Y./Kingston) posted 12 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Hawks.
Monmouth, which trailed by 11, 54-43, with 15:01 left, tied the game at 59-59 with 8:44 showing on a Josh James (White Plains, N.Y./Archbishop Stepanic) drive, and the Hawks climbed within 74-71 with 28.0 seconds on a Jones’ drive, but the Quakers hit 5-of-6 from the free throw line in the final 22 seconds to secure the six-point win.
The Hawks, which tallied 19 second-chance points, connected on 16-of-29 from the foul line (55.2%) and hit 35.2% from the field (25-71), while outrebounding Penn 49-43. Sophomore Tyrone O'Garro (Newark, N.J./Saint Peter’s Prep) hauled in eight rebounds to go along with three points, while freshman Chris Brady (Greenlawn, N.Y./Harborfields) tallied four points and six boards for the Hawks.
Monmouth raced out to a 12-2 lead following a Jones three-pointer and Brady’s lay-in with 16:59 remaining, forcing Penn to call timeout. Following the break, the Quakers responded with a 16-0 run to claim an 18-12 advantage on a pair of Tony Hicks’ free throws with 12:32 showing.
The Quakers extended their run to 22-3 on two more Hicks foul shots with 9:09 left, making the score 24-15, but the Hawks answered with an 11-2 spurt, highlighted by six points from Jones and junior Max DiLeo’s (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) three-pointer, to knot the game at 24-24 at 7:10. Monmouth held a 29-28 lead on Nicholas’ corner three and led 33-31 with 4:04 left following James’ short jumper in the lane.
Penn responded with a 10-0 over the remaining 3:35 to haul in a 41-33 lead the break as Patrick Lucas-Perry drilled a corner trey as time expired.
Miles Cartwright netted a game-high 25 points, while Darien Nelson-Henry added a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Hicks notched 13 points and eight boards for the Quakers, who went 21-of-31 from the line.
Monmouth returns to action on Monday, when the Hawks face Seton Hall at 8:00 p.m., at Prudential Center.
@MonmouthBBall -- #FlyHawks